US L&D Salary Benchmark

What is a Chief Learning Officer Salary?

About 9% of our survey respondents were Chief Learning Officers or Heads of Learning. For reference, a Chief Learning Officer, CLO for short, is a senior-level executive who oversees all learning and employee development programs within an organization. They create learning strategies, oversee their execution, and ensure that all educational programs align with larger company goals.

In our survey, CLOs or Heads of Learning tended to make on the higher end of the salary scale:

Chief learning officer salary
Chief learning officer salary

The rough average salary of a Chief Learning Officer or Head of Learning is $115,000.

The rough average salary of a Chief Learning Officer or Head of Learning is $115,000.

Are Chief Learning Officers happy with their salary?

Chief Learning Officers/Heads of Learning are fairly satisfied with their salaries; their mean score is 3.7, on a scale of 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied). This is higher than the average for all survey participants (3.3).

Where do CLOs work?

Most of the Chief Learning Officers in our study work for private companies. A minority work in the public sector, for non-profits, for training organizations, or as freelancers or contractors:

Where do CLOs work

How do you become a Chief Learning Officer?

You’ll need to work your way up to this high-level position over time. The vast majority of CLOs/Heads of Learning have at least three years of experience working in L&D. Over half have ten years or more, and a third have 15 years or more:

Chief learning officer years experience

You’ll also want to pursue at least an undergraduate degree: All of the CLOs/Heads of Learning in our survey had either a Master’s or Bachelor’s degree:

Chief Learning Officer degrees

62% said their degree was in a field related to L&D.

For those seriously interested in pursuing this career track, you can consult our five-step roadmap for becoming a Chief Learning Officer. You can also refer to the last chapter of this guide, Leveling Up, for general advice on how to advance your career in Learning and Development.